Daily Management Review

Artificial Intelligence Helps NASA Find An 8th Planet In Orbit Of A Distant Star


12/17/2017




Artificial Intelligence Helps NASA Find An 8th Planet In Orbit Of A Distant Star
Our solar system was considered to be the one with the most number of known planets encircling a star within the Milky Way.
 
But NASA scientists have now discovered an eighth planet circling a distant star placed 2,500 light years away from Earth – names as Kepler 90. This makes the number of planets circling that start to eight – the same as our Solar system has. Scientists said that the newly discovered plant is hot and rocky and has bene given the name Kepler-90i. Its orbit time period around the star is once every 14 days.
 
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope had gathered the data which made the discovery possible. This telescope is especially designed to hunt down planets and has so far been able to identify over 2,500 exoplanets since 2009.
 
However, the main difference with the latest discovery is that this was done with the help of artificial intelligence researcher of Google that made use of neural networking – a machine learning technology.
 
“This is the first time a neural network specifically has been used to identify a new exoplanet,” said Christopher Shallue, a software engineer at Google who helped make the finding.
 
Patterns are recognized and images are classified by this technology which was designed on the basis of the human brain. While being able to distinguish between simple things like a cat and mouse, tis technology is also able to differentiate exoplanets from cosmic noise.
 
A small piece of data tat was collected by Kepler between 2009 and 2013 was examined by the artificial intelligent computer. To obtain signs of exoplanets, 670 star systems from the 150,000 stars shown in Kepler’s collection, was examined by the computer.
 
Exoplanets are spotted by scientists when such celestial objects move in front of their stars. A detectable signal is created because that movement causes a drop in the amount of light reaching the Earth.  About 35,000 similar signals have been recorded by Kepler’s data set so far. And planets have been accurately identified about 96 percent of the attempts.
 
“We plan to search all 150,000 stars in the Kepler data system,” said Mr. Shallue.
 
Temperatures on the surface of Kepler-90i is about 800 degrees Fahrenheit and the planet is about 30 per cent bier than Earth, said Andrew Vanderburg, an astronomer at the University of Texas, Austin.
 
The newly found exoplanet is closely packed to the star like the rest of the seven planets in the system. He said that in the distant solar system, the farthest planet from the star is about at te same distance as Earth from the Sun and therefore it resembles a miniature replica of our own Solar system.
 
The belief that our solar system is “just another duck in a row’’ is proved by the fact that Kepler 90 as eight planets, said Seth Shostak, an astronomer with the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who was not involved in the project.
 
“The bad news is we’re not quite as special as we thought we were,” he said. “But the good news is we may have a lot of cosmic company.”
 
(Source:www.nytimes.com)






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